On November 1979, when 66 Americans were taken hostage in Iran, Jimmy Carter confronted a difficult decision. From the first days of the crisis he rejected all military options. He chose Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's plan to use diplomatic pressure and patient negotiation. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and others urged him to take tougher action.
Carter biographer Douglas Brinkley sees it as a moral issue for Carter. "You see the moralism of Carter, the Christianity affecting his foreign policy making... His belief in each human life having a great sanctity to it."
But it was more than a moral question. On the eve of a failed rescue mission, Carter told Vance, "my greatest fear all along is that this crisis could lead us into direct confrontation with the Soviets."
"It is hard to remember that it was the Cold War. The possibility of a superpower confrontation in and about Iran had always been there. And now, under these circumstances, it was much higher," Jody Powell says. Historian Roger Wilkins says, "it was the first time that the United States really was demonstrated to be vulnerable to the kinds of people that [Osama] bin Laden ultimately became."
Do you think Carter should have launched a military attack against Iran during the hostage crisis?
Yes (Blue): 45%
No (Pink): 54%
Total number of poll participants: 1919
Of the participants polled, 839 watched at least half of the film; of those, 332 said the film influenced their vote.
The story of Liliu'okalani, the last queen and ruler of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii.
A president who rose from a broken childhood to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage.
A writer's childhood and the development of her photography and writing about the American South.
An African American minister whose dream of ending racism galvanized millions of Americans in the civil rights movement.
The world famous escape artist could escape from everything - except his own mortality.
Robert Noyce's invention of the microchip launched the world into the Information Age.
The Last Stand, the final act of General George Custer's larger-than-life career, played out on a grand stage with a spellbound public engrossed in the drama. Part of the Wild West collection.
Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright built a flying machine that made its first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.